In a nation of chronically obese and out of shape citizens why does anyone want a smart refrigerator? Based on my superficial and uneducated experience with other smart devices like cellphones, autos, iPads, computers, and Fitbits I have formed an opinion that smart devices are way too needy.
Take the iPhone; I get a notice every day that my phone cannot be backed up in the cloud because I don’t have enough storage room in the cloud. What does that mean? I have tons of excess capacity on my iPhone because I have never been any good at taking pictures and because transferring my music library is hard. I don’t have any videos on my phone either. This supposedly smart device is smart enough to know that if you send me Message #1 “You know your iPhone has not been backed up since 2011” I will freak out and sign up for cloud storage at the cost of $1.00 per month. The only reason I have not done that yet is because I also get Message #2 that says I can back up my phone by entering my password, locking the phone and having it tied to a power source after 10pm. This smart phone understands that I have been dutifully trying to back up my phone via Message #2 without success and that Message #1 ( a revenue producer for Apple) will finally get me to sign up for a cloud subscription.
It is pretty ironic that I have enough storage capacity on my iPhone to download the Library of Congress but no storage in my cloud. Speaking of my cloud, I guess every device will have its own cloud so I should expect a message soon from Subaru or Fitbit that I have not backed up my info on their cloud? Why would I want to save info about the times I was slacking at the gym or speeding in my car? Why do I want a smart device at all?
Get Ready For National Food Lockdown
This is certainly true for refrigerators. Why do you want your celery and carrots to have equal rights with ice cream and bagels? I can envision the optimal diet getting downloaded into my fridge and facing a denial of service because I have 3 bags of Arugula wilting in the crisper drawer when I have exceeded my daily dose of red meat for 8 months in a row. How about the fridge that takes your vital signs and BMI (body mass index) when you grab the handle? America would be on immediate food lock down as smart refrigerators across the nation sensed a six sigma event. Everyone’s BMI would be at least 6 standard deviations worse than the norm. Getting a smart device that has any influence over your daily intake of food would be horrible.
Even worse would be the smart wine cooler or a smart beer fridge. As my son-in-law admitted when I got him a 2 year gift subscription to Wine Spectator, “I am certainly better at consuming than spectating”. Your little secrets about daily consumption would certainly end up in the cloud where they would be hacked or, more likely, transported to your children who are monitoring your intake and plotting an intervention. Pretty soon your family physician would know that “two drinks a day” really means polishing off several cases of beer and a few bottle of wine each week.
Graduating To a Nest
Just imagine when your cloud is so full you need a “nest” so the internet of things enables your smart devices to all talk to each other in the cloud. The human profile that emerges would be so frightening you probably would go off the grid and never return. The car tells the cloud that you exceeded the speed limit all day while also exceeding the allowed decibel levels on your car speakers because you kept replaying AC/DC songs which in turn alerts your wife, children and doctor that you are probably going deaf and have a “failure to launch” problem. The fridge gives everyone your vital signs and a chart showing wintertime consumption of Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. The Fitbit doesn’t tell the cloud anything because you are not working out and your BMI is 45 and your blood pressure is 159 over 98, and your pulse is 95. Your car won’t start because the nest signals you are about to die. No more trips to the wine store even though both the beer and wine are gone. While the cloud might register that you have given up beer and wine, you have actually graduated to Jose Cuervo. You can’t eat because of fridge lockdown and the car won’t start. You have a bad profile with UBER from the nest. Meanwhile you are longing for that blissful anonymity before you migrated to the cloud for $1.00 a month just to get rid of those annoying messages from Apple. The Stones saw this coming in 1967 when they composed Get off My Cloud:
“Hey! You! Get off my cloud
Don’t hang around ‘cause two’s a crowd
on my cloud, baby”
Your Insights Are Welcome
Periodically we will circulate this blog to a target market that includes successful families, wealth advisors and middle market business owners.
Please send us emails, articles, YouTube videos, tweets or even old-fashioned means of communication like voicemail’s, mail or a phone call on the topic of Private Equity For Families. All ideas are welcome.
Rob McCreary, Chairman
February 2, 2017
Source: PE4Fams feed